5 Things You Must Know Before Starting an eCommerce Business

5 Things You Must Know Before Starting an eCommerce Business

Things You Must Know Before Starting an eCommerce Business

If you’ve ever thought about starting your own eCommerce business, congratulations! You’re already well on your way to becoming one of the million people who successfully start a small online business each year.

But how extensive is the decision-making process? How many options do you have? What are some of the pitfalls in starting and running an eCommerce business?

Here are five things you must know before starting an eCommerce business.

1. Know the Products or Services You Are Selling

To start an eCommerce business, you must first decide what you want to sell. That may seem like an obvious statement, but the options are endless. Do some research and find something that you want to sell that will be profitable.

As part of doing this research, you will also define your target market. You need to know whether or not the products or services you offer will be attractive to people in your geographic location.

Expertise is often a good selling point. For example, if you’re an industry insider and you know everything there is to know about the product or service you’re selling, be sure to show your clients that by adding in a side-bar with testimonials from your satisfied customers and providing additional information about the product or services on your website.

If you aren’t overly familiar with the products or services, a workaround is to find a company that wholesales their products or services and then sells them through your website. Some wholesalers even allow retailers to sell their products through affiliate marketing.

2. Know Your Target Customers

Another important step in starting an eCommerce business is identifying who your target market is. Maybe it’s the same demographic of people you like to golf with on Sunday mornings, or maybe it’s a slightly different demographic that falls outside your social circle.

The point is to figure out who will be interested in what you’re selling and how interested they are in buying your products or services.

eCommerce businesses can benefit from using Google AdWords. Doing this will allow you to target your ideal demographic and determine their search habits, keywords they use daily, and the types of sites they visit regularly.

3. Know the Type of eCommerce Model to Use

The eCommerce model you use will depend on many factors, but your budget is the most important one. Certainly, there are free eCommerce platforms available that allow you to start running your business with a minimal investment.

However, know that using a free platform will often have limited features compared to the more expensive options.

Another important thing to consider is whether your eCommerce business will be a payment facilitator or a marketplace. Research payfac vs marketplace before settling on one approach, as both models have unique benefits.

4. Establish Your Marketing Strategy

Even with the best product, service, and price, there is no guarantee that your business will be a success. It would help if you had a solid marketing strategy to attract customers to your eCommerce business.

The most obvious marketing strategy is social media sites like Facebook and Twitter. Once you establish a following on these sites, you can use them as an avenue for promoting special offers on your products or services.

Social media is a relatively inexpensive way for eCommerce businesses to get their name out there and establish an online presence.

5. Know How to Ship Your Product or Service

How you deliver your product or service will depend on what you are selling. If you are selling a physical product, shipping will often be more difficult than selling digital products and services.

Make a plan to determine how you will ship it, who will pay for it, and how much it will cost.

If you are shipping physical goods, know what type of packaging is required and what carrier is best suited for your products. It would help if you also researched the cost of mailing items internationally and to other countries.


Starting an eCommerce business is not difficult, but it involves time, research, and planning. The key to success involves knowing your target customers and knowing how you will deliver your product or service.

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